CPD strips president of DePaul-partnered police union of pay


AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Chicago Police officers cross the street in downtown Chicago, Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

The Chicago Police Department suspended controversial union president John Catanzara from the city’s police force and stripped him of pay for at least the next 30 days. He is currently awaiting a decision by the Chicago Police Board regarding misconduct charges.

“It’ll probably give me more support with members for being attacked,” Catanzara told WGN in a Feb. 10 interview. “It’ll piss (police) off more.” 

Catanzara has accumulated at least 35 complaints of misconduct throughout his career. As of Jan. 27, he is facing 18 charges of misconduct totaling 72 violations of  CPD’s Rules and Regulations. The charges cite inflammatory social media posts made by Catanzara, in which he refers to Muslims as “savages” who “all deserve a bullet.”

On Feb. 1, 78 community organizations wrote a letter to the Chicago Police Board and Mayor Lori Lightfoot urging officials to remove Catanzara in light of his possible dismissal.

“Catanzara’s statements about Muslims strongly suggest that he is not able to afford impartial justice to all people in Chicagoand in partnership with community members,” the letter read. “Rather, his social media posts suggest that he enforces the law in accordance with his bigoted views, in which Muslims are unequal to, andless deserving than, other communities.” 

Catanzara dismissed the letter from community leaders as “irrelevant” in a later interview with WGN. 

The first hearing of Catanzara’s case is scheduled for Feb. 23. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.